South African court affirms Henry Okah’s conviction

A South African Court has once again affirmed the 24 years conviction of the Leader of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah following his application against his conviction.

MEND had claimed responsibilities for bomb attacks that claimed the lives of Nigerians including the 2010 Independence day twin bombing that took the lives of eight people.

In March 2013, Judge Neels Claassen had found Okah guilty of 13 count terrorism-related offences in Nigeria, and he has been in prison since then.

South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority had said although Okah is not a South African citizen, it had the power to charge him for the allegations through the International Cooperation in Criminal Matters.

Since the conviction, Okah had approached South African courts to appeal the conviction but his case has been dismissed so far.



    In 2014, a supreme court of appeal overturned four of his convictions which reduced his jail term to 2o years; the Supreme Court’s decision did not last long after a Constitutional Court in Johannesburg overruled the decision.

    Another court in Pretoria, South Africa has dismissed his case on the request of the respondents who claimed that a convict cannot appeal a case more than once.

    Judge Moses Mavundla ruled that the Okah had appealed his conviction to both the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court.

    Mavundla ruled that Okah is to pay taxes and allowed costs to The State, The Directors of Public Prosecutions and the Minister of Police whom he listed as respondents in his case.



    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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